Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 15

My Refuge

July 15 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 46-48 and Psalms 15

Isaiah 49: reads, “But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’ ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

The same theme is found in Psalms 27:5; “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”

Finally, Psalm 46:1 reads, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

In a time of trouble it is so easy to forget how close the Lord is to us. We seem to immediately lose focus because our emotions make us lose perspective! Think for a moment about the Isaiah illustration of the mother forgetting her nursing baby – how absurd. This mother would have to be mentally ill, on some mind-numbing drug or demon possessed.

Now imagine getting a tattoo on the palm of your hand (ouch) with the name of your loved one on it – then forgetting they exist! It’s not going to happen – yet, as soon as our emotions don’t FEEL God, we assume that He has left us. Do we really think He is so “mentally deficient” or heartless as to forget us? – Or is the problem that we are so immature in our faith that we think because we don’t have super “tingly” feelings – God is absent. We get to feeling sorry for ourselves – we wallow in depression – we lose perspective and faith – we get snippy with people – we act in downright childish ways. Mature faith means that we begin to trust in The Word more than our emotions – that we begin to trust the promises of the One who is faithful more than our unfaithful feelings. Imagine a man who has been married for a few months, then one day wakes up and does not “feel” love for (or from) his wife. Does this mean he should stop believing that she loves him or that he loves her? Of course not! We are keenly aware that mature married love is present and active whether or not we have goose bumps on our goose bumps emotionally. So it should be with the Lord. I encourage you to meditate on the fact that even in times of trouble or when you don’t feel God, He is your ever-present help. He is the one who will never forget you or forsake you. He is the one who sets “me high upon a rock”.

Do you want to hear ‘real truth’? The truth is that God is as present with you in the day of trouble as a mother is with her young child when he is in bed with the flu. He probably is doing more for you in your time of distress than when you are capable of doing it all for yourself. You may not feel it, but rest assured – He walks with you in the valley.

Questions:

1. Tell of another example from Scripture where God was an ever-present help in trouble.
2. Tell of an example from your life where God looked after you in a special way.

The Big Picture

January 15 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 43-45 and Psalms 15

It’s a marvel to me that “God’s timetable” is constantly at work in our lives. In these chapters we see Joseph’s boyhood dreams coming to pass many years down the road when his brothers came and bowed down to him. These chapters also give a great “birds eye view” of how God allowed circumstances to unfold in order to bring these brothers to a place of repentance and accountability. It’s almost as though God “conspired” to get their attention.

Chapter 45: 7-8 reads; “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then it was not you who sent me here, but God”

Amazing isn’t it? – That Joseph could have such a Godly perspective as to perceive God’s sovereign hand in all the difficulties he had faced – and to see all his days of suffering as having a “higher purpose”. We could all use more of this kind of perspective. All of us need to see the sovereignty of God in our difficult places in life. We won’t always understand what’s going on during times of trouble, Joseph certainly didn’t, but we can be assured that our Father does know what’s happening and has His hand upon us through it all. This is what keeps our attitudes and faith strong in the middle of a storm – this is how Job was able to say, “though He slay me yet will I trust Him”. [Job 13:15]

Let’s have a quick look at one more theme today. Chapter 45: 27 reads; “But when they told him (Jacob) everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.” I personally believe that our mindset determines whether our “spirit man” does well or whether we begin to drift into “dying mode”. What does it mean that Jacob’s spirit “revived”? Simply this – he determined to live a bit longer – 17 more years to be exact. When our spirit is alive and revived, we live! When we say “Father into your hands I commit my spirit”, we breath our last breath and die. (Luke 23:46) God so designed us that if we are encouraged in our outlook and we “see” the things we have to live for, our bodies will respond and shift into health mode. Have you ever heard of a person “hanging on” till all the visitors have left before dying? This has everything to do with the incredible power of the human spirit and God’s Spirit working together.

Walking with Jesus means you will always have many positive things to think about. Good health follows this kind of outlook. If you want to walk in health then walk with Jesus – you will have a personal “attitude instructor” resident within you!

Questions:

1. Is there something that God has given you to “dream” about but it seems a long time coming? Name it and let this dream motivate you to become all God wants you to be.

2. Can you think of an example where a person’s “spirit revived” and they lived on beyond all expectation?

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